The Pope on Easter Eve: With Jesus the grave will not prevent the joy of life

At the Holy Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis invites us to “look” to Jesus, the God of life, and reminds us that by welcoming him no failure will condemn us to despair.

Written by Lisa Zingarini

On Saturday evening, His Holiness Pope Francis presided over the traditional Easter Vigil in St. Peter's Basilica. The celebration began at the entrance of the Basilica with the Rite of Blessing of Fire, followed by a candlelight procession while the Light of Christ was sung and the lights of the Basilica were lit in all their glory. The celebration included the baptism and confirmation of eight catechumens from Italy (4), South Korea (2), Japan (1), and Albania (1).

“Who will roll away the stone from the grave?”

In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel account of the women who visited Jesus' empty tomb, and drew attention to two crucial moments in the event.

At first, grieving women are troubled by the question: “Who will roll away the stone from the grave?”

“This stone, which was a great obstacle, symbolized what women felt in their hearts,” the Pope said. It marked the end of their hopes, now shattered by the dark and sad mystery that had put an end to their dreams.

The tombstones we encounter in our lives

The Pope noted that sometimes in our lives we experience this feeling of sadness and despair: “We face these tombstones in the void left by the death of our loved ones, in the failures and fears that prevent us from achieving what we want.” The good we intend to do,” but also “in all the forms of self-absorption that stifle our impulses for generosity and true love, in the rubber walls of selfishness and indifference that hinder our efforts to build more just and humane cities and societies, in all our aspirations for peace shattered by cruel hatred and the brutality of war.

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The victory of life over death

However, Pope Francis noted that the same women who carried this darkness in their hearts tell us something quite extraordinary: when they looked up, they saw that this heavy stone had already been rolled away, revealing the power of God: “the victory of life over death.” The victory of light over darkness, and the rebirth of hope amid the ruins of failure.

Let us look to Jesus, our Passover

Therefore, Pope Francis called on the faithful to “look” to him: “If we allow Jesus to hold our hand, the experience of failure or sadness, no matter how painful, will not have the last word on meaning.” And the fate of our lives.

“If we allow the Risen Lord to raise us up, no setback, suffering, or death will be able to stop our progress toward the fullness of life.”

The Pope added: By welcoming Jesus, “our Easter,” “the God of life” into our lives, and saying “yes” to him, “no stone will block the path to our hearts, and no grave will prevent our joy.” Life, failure will not condemn us to despair.”

He concluded by saying: “Let us lift our eyes to Him, to the Risen Lord, and move forward confident that, against the mysterious background of our failed hopes and our deaths, the eternal life that He came to bring us exists even now.” In our midst.”

“The Man of Sorrows is no longer in prison: he has opened a breach in the wall; He is rushing to meet you. In the darkness, an unexpected cry of joy rang out: He is alive; He has risen!”

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